Trailer Hitch Install Recommendations - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2016, 04:24 PM   #1
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Name: Ray
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Trailer Hitch Install Recommendations

Any recommendations for options and things to look for when having a trailer hitch installed would be appreciated.

I'm very new to this but I finally have my tow vehicle and I need to install a trailer hitch. My tow vehicle is a 2012 RAV4 with the tow package so it should be able to tow up to 3,500 lb. I want to be very conservative and safe and am willing to pay for safety. I plan to get a Casita, probably a 13' to again be as safe as possible and well under the weight limit. But it is possible that I would go up in size/weight if I think my RAV can tow it because 13' is really small for my family of 4. I will also use the trailer hitch for a bike rack.

Someone rear ended my car so I'm planning to have the body shop install the trailer hitch while they do the other repairs related to that.

ETA the reason it will have to be a Casita trailer is because I live in Texas, very close to Casita. I would much rather have a Scamp but driving that far to pick up the trailer and then dealing with any repairs seems overwhelming.
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Old 02-09-2016, 04:42 PM   #2
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I tow Escape 17' B with my 2008 RAV4 V6 Sport, with tow package.
Had the dealer install an after-market Class III hitch receiver for a weight distribution hitch. It is a Hidden Hitch receiver and the WDH is Pro Series.
My tongue weight is 320 - 340 lbs.
I have had no problems in seven years of towing. No sway, no issues at all.
First picture is without WDH bars engaged. Second shows with WDH bars engaged.
Attached Thumbnails
NO WDH1.jpg   With WDH1.jpg  

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Old 02-10-2016, 09:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayearth View Post
Any recommendations for options and things to look for when having a trailer hitch installed would be appreciated.
..
See this guide starting on page 28.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayearth View Post
ETA the reason it will have to be a Casita trailer is because I live in Texas, very close to Casita. I would much rather have a Scamp but driving that far to pick up the trailer and then dealing with any repairs seems overwhelming.
Most trailer manufacturers warranty their product, but the systems (furnace, axles, tires, water pump) are warrantied by their producers and can be replaced/repaired anywhere in the US. Don't need to take the egg back to the chicken to get it fixed!
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:22 PM   #5
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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[QUOTE=rayearth;570662]Any recommendations for options and things to look for when having a trailer hitch installed would be appreciated.

I'm very new to this but I finally have my tow vehicle and I need to install a trailer hitch. My tow vehicle is a 2012 RAV4 with the tow package so it should be able to tow up to 3,500 lb.]

You should be no problem with a 13 ft. A 16 ft may be marginal on total weight depending on how much mountain driving you plan on.
I think I saw where Casita does recommend a class III hitch with Load Distribution bars, but that adds more dead weight. You should try to keep the total gross combination weight low. Perhaps by traveling only with empty tanks ... in the trailer, not the TV.

Happy Camping, and welcome to the club.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:30 PM   #6
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Hi Glenn, nice WD hitch before and after photo - could you share the brand and weight of the unit? I currently have an Equalizer WD/sway bar and would like a much lighter weight unit, as the solid steel bars on mine are pretty hefty. Would be using with a Bigfoot B19 that weighs about 3,500 when loaded.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:44 PM   #7
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My recollection is that the Reese Pro Series WDH I have weighs 78 lbs. total.
The bars are each 14 lbs. ( I recall ).
As you can see, the WDH has far more capacity than the tow vehicle.
Attached Thumbnails
WDHitch capacity.jpg   WDHitch specs1.jpg  

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Old 02-12-2016, 05:15 PM   #8
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Nice, Glenn, Thank you! I tried to look up the weight of my Equalizer but nothing on their website quotes the weight - I think it's got to be heavier than yours, but I'm not sure by how much. Guess I can go weigh it this weekend to confirm. Thank you for sharing your info!
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayearth View Post
Any recommendations for options and things to look for when having a trailer hitch installed would be appreciated.
Make sure you get a Class III hitch.
Your RAV4 has a 3500lbs towing capacity, which is corresponds to a Class II hitch, but the stiffer Class III will not cost much more and will allow the use of a weight distributing hitch if you ever need it. Also the Class III has the 2in square receiver on which you can install bike racks and the like (some Class II also have the 2in square but most have a smaller 1.25in receiver).

Beware that although some bike racks will allow you to tow a trailer while carrying bikes, usually these types of rack severely limit the towable weight, so don't plan too much on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayearth View Post
Someone rear ended my car so I'm planning to have the body shop install the trailer hitch while they do the other repairs related to that.
I don't know how severe the damage is, if the damage is cosmetic only, that's fine, but if the damage has compromised the integrity of the rear unibody or subframe, I would not bolt a hitch receiver and use this vehicle to tow anything. Check this carefully with the body shop who's doing the repair, make sure they know what they're doing.
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